Event Updates

Tim Wilkerson Notes & Quotes
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Funny Car event 17 of 24

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Car No.: FC5
Current points position: No. 10

Event-Specific Notes:
• Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car crew have one previous Brainerd final round. They were runner-up there in 2003 to Gary Densham.
• Wilkerson enters the event No. 10 in the Funny Car standings with two races to go before the Countdown to the Championship field is set

Driver Notes:
• Wilkerson was in the final at Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Atlanta this year. He was the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas.
• Team Summit driver Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the category to finish in the top 10 in 2018
• The early portion of Wilkerson’s career included a successful run as a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver. He earned eight division trophies, one national event win, and was the Division 3 Top Alcohol Funny Car champ in both 1994 and 1995 in the Lucas Oil Series before stepping up to the Pro ranks in Gainesville in 1996.

Wilkerson in Brainerd
1 final round
Runner-up in 2003 (Gary Densham)
No. 1 qualifier in 2004
Last year: Qualified No. 4; second round

Wilkerson’s career stats through 2019 NHRA Northwest Nationals, Seattle
(most recent event)
509 races
20 wins
24 runner-up finishes
44 final rounds
20 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 3.844 (2017 Phoenix)
Career best speed: 333.74 (2016 Topeka)

Quote:
“We had the opportunity to match race at Summit Motorsports Park for their Night Under Fire event last weekend, and we had a great time. The fans there are great, and it kind of reminds you of Brainerd – so much support there from those folks, year after year. Our goal this weekend is to get back to going down the racetrack. I really like BIR; it’s a unique place, and after the Western Swing where you’re going, going, going, it’s just a fun deal.”

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after NHRA Northwest Nationals, race 16 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (5), 1341*
2. John Force (1), 1155*
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2), 1117*
4. Ron Capps (2), 1057
5. Jack Beckman, 1039
6. Bob Tasca III (2), 985
7. Matt Hagan (2), 965
8. J.R. Todd (1), 949
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 840
10. Tim Wilkerson, 792
11. Cruz Pedregon, 650

*Clinched berth in NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship

Race Info
38th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Brainerd International Raceway
Brainerd, Minnesota
August 15-18, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Thursday, August 15
9:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying and time trials begin

Friday, August 16
9:15 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations begin
2:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
5:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 2

Saturday, August 17
9:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations continue
1:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
4:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, August 18
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Friday – 7-9 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Saturday – 11 PM-12 AM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 2-5 PM ET / FS1

#BrainerdNats

**Results at DragRaceCentral.com**

_______________________________________________

Tim Wilkerson Notes & Quotes
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
NHRA Northwest Nationals
Funny Car event 16 of 24

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Car No.: FC5
Current points position: No. 10

Event-Specific Notes:
• Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car crew are perfect in Seattle final rounds. Wilkerson won three consecutive Northwest Nationals (2009-2011).
• Wilkerson is No. 10 in the Funny Car standings
• Tim Wilkerson returned to the seat of his 2019 Ford Mustang last month in Epping. Just one race after its debut in Richmond, the Levi, Ray & Shoup 40th anniversary Ford Mustang nitro Funny Car body was damaged in an otherwise-uneventful incident in which Wilkerson came into contact with the wall at the Route 66 Nationals.
• Back in his new Ford Mustang, a proven, well-engineered piece, Wilkerson raced all the way to the semifinals in Epping after back-to-back first-round exits

Driver Notes:
• Wilkerson was in the final at Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Atlanta this year. He was the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas.
• Team Summit driver Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the category to finish in the top 10 in 2018
• The early portion of Wilkerson’s career included a successful run as a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver. He earned eight division trophies, one national event win, and was the Division 3 Top Alcohol Funny Car champ in both 1994 and 1995 in the Lucas Oil Series before stepping up to the Pro ranks in Gainesville in 1996.

Wilkerson in Seattle
3 wins in 3 final rounds
Won 2011 (defeated Jack Beckman)
Won 2010 (defeated Ron Capps)
Won 2009 (defeated Tony Pedregon)
Last year: Qualified No. 5; semifinals

Wilkerson’s career stats through 2019 NHRA Sonoma Nationals
(most recent event)
508 races
20 wins
24 runner-up finishes
44 final rounds
20 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 3.844 (2017 Phoenix)
Career best speed: 333.74 (2016 Topeka)

Quotes:
“We’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why our car does what it does, and we’re getting closer to getting everything right. This LRS Ford Mustang isn’t giving us any real problems, I just have to concentrate on steering better than I did in Sonoma, and we’ll see. Anyhow, I’m not good at playing defense [regarding the points]. I’m going to go out there and try to win some rounds.”

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after NHRA Sonoma Nationals, race 15 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (5), 1283
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2), 1084
3. John Force, 1035
4. Jack Beckman, 964
5. Ron Capps (2), 962
6. Bob Tasca III (2), 924
7. J.R. Todd (1), 889
8. Matt Hagan (2), 888
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 786
10. Tim Wilkerson, 757

Race Info
31st annual Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals
Pacific Raceways
Kent, Washington
August 2-4, 2019

Pacific Raceways Track Records
Top Fuel
Antron Brown, 3.685 (2016); Steve Torrence, 331.61 (2018)
Funny Car
Del Worsham, 3.832 (2016); Jack Beckman, 334.15 (2016)
Pro Stock
Chris McGaha, 6.488 (2015); McGaha, 213.40 (2015)

Run Schedule (all times local)
Friday, August 2
9:15 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying and time trials begin
3:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
6:15 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 2

Saturday, August 3
9:15 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations begin
1:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
4:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, August 4
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Friday – 6:30-8 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Saturday – 10:30-11:30 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 4-7 PM ET / FOX

#NorthwestNats
**Results posted on DragRaceCentral.com**

_______________________________________________

Tim Wilkerson Notes & Quotes
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
NHRA Sonoma Nationals
Funny Car event 15 of 24

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Car No.: FC5
Current points position: No. 10

Event-Specific Notes:
• Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car crew are one of just five Funny Car teams to have more than one win at Sonoma Raceway. Wilkerson has won there twice, in 2004 and 2009.
• Wilkerson is No. 10 in the Funny Car standings
• Tim Wilkerson returned to the seat of his 2019 Ford Mustang three weeks ago in Epping. Just one race after its debut in Richmond, the Levi, Ray & Shoup 40th anniversary Ford Mustang nitro Funny Car body was damaged in an otherwise-uneventful incident in which Wilkerson came into contact with the wall at the Route 66 Nationals.
• Back in his new Ford Mustang, a proven, well-engineered piece, Wilkerson raced all the way to the semifinals in Epping after back-to-back first-round exits

Driver Notes:
• Wilkerson was in the final at Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Atlanta this year. He was the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas.
• Team Summit driver Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the category to finish in the top 10 in 2018
• The early portion of Wilkerson’s career included a successful run as a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver. He earned eight division trophies, one national event win, and was the Division 3 Top Alcohol Funny Car champ in both 1994 and 1995 in the Lucas Oil Series before stepping up to the Pro ranks in Gainesville in 1996.

Wilkerson in Sonoma
2 wins in 4 final rounds
Runner-up 2017 (J.R. Todd)
Runner-up 2011 (Ron Capps)
Won 2009 (defeated Tony Pedregon)
Won 2004 (defeated John Force)
Last year: Qualified No. 6; first round

Wilkerson’s career stats through 2019 NHRA Mile-High Nationals in Denver
(most recent event)
507 races
20 wins
24 runner-up finishes
44 final rounds
20 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 3.844 (2017 Phoenix)
Career best speed: 333.74 (2016 Topeka)

Quotes:
“The next two races will be tricky when it’s hot out. Sonoma and Seattle are pretty similar, but Sonoma gives you one really good shot at being a hero at night. The rest of the time, usually, the sun is out and keeping the track hot. We’ve won there a few times, beat Tony Pedregon there and in Seattle once two weeks in a row – that’s a favorite Sonoma memory. He had a good car, Dickie Venables was tuning it, and everybody knows Dickie Venables is a pain in the ass. It was fun.”

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, race 14 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 1159
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2), 1010
3. John Force, 958
4. Ron Capps (2), 927
5. Jack Beckman, 904
6. Bob Tasca III (2), 865
7. J.R. Todd (1), 857
8. Matt Hagan (2), 794
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 727
10. Tim Wilkerson, 724

Race Info
32nd annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals
Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma, California
July 26-28, 2019

Sonoma Raceway Track Records
Top Fuel
Leah Pritchett, 3.669 (2017); Clay Millican, 332.75 (2018)
Funny Car
Robert Hight, 3.807 (2017); Hight, 339.87 (2017)
Pro Stock
Chris McGaha, 6.499 (2015); Shane Gray, 213.00 (2015)
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Angelle Sampey, 6.730 (2018); Hector Arana Jr., 200.35 (2018)

Run Schedule (all times local)
Friday, July 26
9:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying and time trials begin
4:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
7:00 p.m. – Pro Stock qualifying session 2
8:00 p.m. – Funny Car and Top Fuel qualifying session 2

Saturday, July 27
9:15 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations begin
1:20 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
4:20 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, July 28
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Friday – 7-8 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Sunday – 2:30-3:30 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 5-7 PM ET / FOX
PS & PSM Show / Sunday – 10-11p ET / FS1

#SonomaNats
**Results posted on DragRaceCentral.com**

_______________________________________________

Tim Wilkerson Notes & Quotes
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
NHRA Mile-High Nationals
Funny Car event 14 of 24

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Car No.: FC5
Current points position: No. 9

Event-Specific Notes:
• Tim Wilkerson returned to the seat of his 2019 Ford Mustang two weeks ago in Epping. Just one race after its debut in Richmond, the Levi, Ray & Shoup 40th anniversary Ford Mustang nitro Funny Car body was damaged in an otherwise-uneventful incident in which Wilkerson came into contact with the wall at the Route 66 Nationals.
• Back in his new Ford Mustang, a proven, well-engineered piece, Wilkerson raced all the way to the semifinals after back-to-back first-round exits

Driver Notes:
• Wilkerson was in the final at Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Atlanta this year. He was the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas.
• Team Summit driver Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the category to finish in the top 10 in 2018
• The early portion of Wilkerson’s career included a successful run as a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver. He earned eight division trophies, one national event win, and was the Division 3 Top Alcohol Funny Car champ in both 1994 and 1995 in the Lucas Oil Series before stepping up to the Pro ranks in Gainesville in 1996.

Wilkerson in Denver
1 win in 1 final round
Won 2008 (defeated Jack Beckman)
No. 1 qualifier in 1999, 2003
Last year: Qualified No. 9; second round

Wilkerson’s career stats through 2019 NHRA New England Nationals in Epping
(most recent event)
506 races
20 wins
24 runner-up finishes
44 final rounds
20 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 3.844 (2017 Phoenix)
Career best speed: 333.74 (2016 Topeka)

Quotes:
“I like Denver. Usually, we have something for them up there. I’m still getting used to my new Ford Mustang, so I’m not sure how she’s going to treat me there, but I’m following Bob Tasca’s lead on where to put the spoilers and all that, and that’s really been helping me.”

“We had some time to get all our junk in a pile after Epping and make sure everything was working properly. The engine worked pretty well all weekend, it looked nice and wasn’t all tore up, so that part of the recipe is really working well.”

“Denver is Dick Levi Country, and I’m excited about seeing him and all his family at the race. It should be a lot of fun.”

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after NHRA New England Nationals, race 13 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 1079
2. John Force, 903
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 891
4. Ron Capps (2), 870
5. Jack Beckman, 851
6. J.R. Todd (1), 825
7t. Bob Tasca III (2), 770
7t. Matt Hagan (2), 770
9. Tim Wilkerson, 691
10. Shawn Langdon (1), 675

Race Info
40th annual NHRA Mile-High Nationals
Bandimere Speedway
Denver, Colorado
July 19-21, 2019

Bandimere Speedway Track Records
Top Fuel
Leah Pritchett, 3.733 (2017); Clay Millican, 327.59 (2018)
Funny Car
Courtney Force, 3.889 (2017); C. Force, 328.30 (2017)
Pro Stock
Allen Johnson, 6.877 (2015); Shane Gray, 201.01 (2015)
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Eddie Krawiec, 7.111 (2018); Hector Arana Jr., 188.86 (2018)

Run Schedule (all times local)
Friday, July 19
10:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying begins
4:15 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
7:15 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 2

Saturday, July 20
11:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations begin
4:15 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
7:15 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, July 21
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Friday – 7-8:30 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Sunday – 1-2 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 3-6 PM ET / FOX

Join the conversation: #MileHighNats

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

___________________________________

Wilkerson and LRS Ford Mustang make fast friends at NHRA New England Nationals

EPPING, N.H. (July 7, 2019) – After brutal qualifying conditions, race day at the NHRA New England Nationals dealt the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series competitors a fresh set of cards, and Tim Wilkerson seized the opportunity in his sleek 40th anniversary Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang. Aiming to keep hold of his position in the nitro Funny Car top 10, Wilkerson reached the semifinals with a little luck and a good measure of skill on Sunday at New England Dragway.

Starting from the No. 9 position, the Springfield, Ill., native drew No. 8 qualifier Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round for the second event in a row. Both drivers smoked the tires on the well-warmed surface as the last pair down the track, and it was Wilkerson with the win light this time for a little revenge. His 4.259-second pass at 233.72 mph topped Johnson’s 4.559, 186.38.

His second-round match with J.R. Todd was a thriller in which Wilkerson came up on the winning end of a challenging, “it could have been anyone” race, 4.242, 233.88 to 4.274 229.12.

“That was crazy,” said Richard Hartman, Wilkerson’s right-hand man on the Levi, Ray & Shoup crew. “It looked perfect, starting drifting left a little, spun the tires, then J.R. spun the tires…. I don’t know how we got it. That gave me a heart attack.”

Wilkerson, at the top end and with the knowledge that he would face Shawn Langdon in the semifinals, said, “This track is tricky, and if you miss it, that kind of run [we made] is what you’re going to get. I’ll get aggressive next round; believe me. I’m not going to do that three times in a row.”

True to his word, Wilk had it tuned up for his meeting with Langdon and flew down the drag strip to a 4.053, 315.56. Unfortunately, the strong pass came up a smidge short – just .011-second – to Langdon’s 4.006, 320.36.

“It was so close,” said Wilkerson. “But it took me too many runs to get it figured out. I thought it would make a good run second round, I just missed it, but we finally got it to run better. We’re pretty happy with that last run. It was a really good race; we were just on the wrong end of it.

“We had a couple of lucky rounds, so we aren’t going to beat our chests about it too much yet. We’re pretty happy, though. It’s going to be a whole different deal at Denver in a couple of weeks, but this is a good car. We’re figuring each other out.”

Next up in the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be the three-race Western Swing, beginning with the Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, July 19-21, 2019.

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Results
R1: Tim Wilkerson defeated Tommy Johnson Jr., 4.259-second 233.72 mph to 4.559, 186.38
R2: Wilkerson def. J.R. Todd, 4.242, 233.88 to 4.274 229.12
R3: Shawn Langdon def. Wilkerson, 4.006, 320.36 to 4.053, 315.56

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after NHRA New England Nationals, race 13 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 1079
2. John Force, 903
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 891
4. Ron Capps (2), 870
5. Jack Beckman, 851
6. J.R. Todd (1), 825
7t. Bob Tasca III (2), 770
7t. Matt Hagan (2), 770
9. Tim Wilkerson, 691
10. Shawn Langdon (1), 675

**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**

___________________________________

Wilkerson set for shift in conditions, fresh battle on Sunday at NHRA Epping

NHRA Drag Racing

Photo credit: Auto Imagery

EPPING, N.H. (July 6, 2019) – Race 13 of 24 in NHRA’s 2019 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is underway at New England Dragway, and so far, Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray and Shoup team have found themselves in more of a battle against weather conditions than anything. On Sunday, the focus will shift to a battle for win lights as they kick off eliminations with a first-round match with Tommy Johnson Jr. at the seventh annual NHRA New England Nationals.

“The first day of qualifying, just like everybody, the motor was kind of weak, but now that we finally have the thing tuned up correctly, I think we’ll be okay,” said Wilkerson. “The conditions were tough, and that makes it hard to gauge what you’re doing right and wrong – so I’m excited about tomorrow. The conditions should be better, and I think this place can be fast.”

The first day of the event was painfully hot and humid, and the racing surface was very, very tricky. The return of the 40th anniversary LRS theme and the all-new for 2019 Ford Mustang Funny Car body had been eagerly anticipated by Wilk and company. They rose to the challenge and got reacquainted with a 4.327-second pass at 217.91 mph followed by a 4.095, 305.15 that had them in the top half of the field.

Saturday’s conditions were somewhat similar in terms of comfortability, and Wilkerson came out in the early session with an improved 4.073, 303.64. A couple of cars that had been behind him, though, improved as well, and Wilk was moved down to the No. 9 spot.

Later in the day, wet weather moved in, and the final qualifying session was cancelled.

“This Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang didn’t give us much trouble,” said Wilkerson, whose meeting with Johnson will be a do-over from two weeks ago on Sunday at the Summit Racing Nationals in Norwalk.

“Our car performed pretty well here, and the only time it spun the tires was in the first qualifier. I think I just had it wrong that session. I was really hoping we’d get another qualifying round this afternoon with the sun down because I felt like we could really learn something, but we’ll have to wait until tomorrow. We really fought the conditions in qualifying, but we ran good every round – so I think we’ll be alright tomorrow. There’s a lot more out there that we aren’t yet utilizing.”

Final eliminations for the seventh annual NHRA New England Nationals are set for Sunday at 11am ET at New England Dragway and will be shown on FS1 beginning at 1pm ET.

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Results
Q1: 4.327-second at 217.91 mph (No. 8)
Q2: 4.095, 305.15 (No. 8)
Q3: 4.073, 303.64 (No. 9)
Q4: not contested due to weather

Round one opponent: Tommy Johnson Jr.

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after NHRA New England Nationals qualifying, race 13 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 1059
2. John Force, 903
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 891
4. Jack Beckman, 851
5. Ron Capps (2), 850
6. J.R. Todd (1), 805
7. Bob Tasca III (2), 730
8. Matt Hagan (1), 690
9. Tim Wilkerson, 651
10. Shawn Langdon (1), 615

Race Info
Seventh annual NHRA New England Nationals
New England Dragway
Epping, N.H.
July 5-7, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, July 7
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Finals / Sunday – 1-4 PM ET / FS1

Join the conversation by using #NewEnglandNats on social media

**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**

___________________________________

Tim Wilkerson NHRA Epping Pre-Race Package

Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Car No.: FC5
Current points position: No. 9

Event-specific Notes:
• Tim Wilkerson returns to the seat of his 2019 Ford Mustang this weekend in Epping. Just one race after its debut in Richmond, the Levi, Ray & Shoup 40th anniversary Ford Mustang nitro Funny Car body was damaged in an otherwise-uneventful incident in which Wilkerson came into contact with the wall at the Route 66 Nationals.
• Fellow Ford campaigner Bob Tasca has earned the last two Funny Car wins on the circuit with the new body, fueling Wilkerson’s fire to get back to driving the well-engineered race car.
• Wilkerson was a finalist last season in Epping, where his charge towards victory was interrupted by Matt Hagan.
• There are just five racetracks on the tour where Wilkerson has yet to claim victory. He is still in the hunt for wins in Epping, Bristol, Pomona, Brainerd, and Richmond.

Driver Notes:
• Wilkerson was in the final at Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Atlanta this year. He was the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas.
• Team Summit driver Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the category to finish in the top 10 in 2018
• Wilkerson hails from Springfield, Ill., and will be racing for the trophy for longtime sponsor Levi, Ray & Shoup. Wilkerson has been primarily sponsored by LRS for 20 years in one of the longest standing partnerships in current-day NHRA drag racing.
• Wilkerson has been a devoted Ford campaigner for 10 years and has claimed 10 of his 20 nitro Funny Car victories piloting a Ford Mustang.
• The early portion of Wilkerson’s career included a successful run as a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver. He earned eight division trophies, one national event win, and was the Division 3 Top Alcohol Funny Car champ in both 1994 and 1995 in the Lucas Oil Series before stepping up to the Pro ranks in Gainesville in 1996.

Wilkerson in Epping
1 final round
Runner-up 2018 (Matt Hagan)
In 2018: Qualified No. 10, final round

Wilkerson’s Career Stats through 2019 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk
(most recent Funny Car event)
505 races
20 wins
24 runner-up finishes
44 final rounds
20 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 3.844 (2017 Phoenix)
Career best speed: 333.74 (2016 Topeka)

Quotes:
“We’re letting these guys get too close to us, and we’ve got to put some distance between us,” said Wilkerson. “We need to be badass again [in the Countdown to the Championship] like we were last year, and we’ve got until Indy to get ready for that. We’ve had some good races where we just got beat, and we need that to not happen anymore.”

“We’ve got our new Ford Mustang body back, and hopefully we can learn something from Bob Tasca. He’s doing a good job with that body now, and they seem to have figured out how to run it, where to put the spoilers, and all that. We’re excited about getting this bringing this 40th anniversary Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang body back out now that we’ve got her all fixed up, and hopefully this weekend we’ll have something to show for all the work that’s went into it.”

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, race 12 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 1022
2. John Force, 869
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 856
4. Jack Beckman, 819
5. Ron Capps (2), 809
6. J.R. Todd (1), 764
7. Bob Tasca III (2), 689
8. Matt Hagan (1), 656
9. Tim Wilkerson, 619
10. Shawn Langdon (1), 580

Race Info
Seventh annual NHRA New England Nationals
New England Dragway
Epping, New Hampshire
July 5-7, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Friday, July 5
9:15 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying and time trials begin
4:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
6:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 2

Saturday, July 6
9:15 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations begin
2:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
4:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, July 7
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Friday – 6-7:30 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Saturday – 2-3 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 1-4 PM ET / FS1

Join the conversation by using #NewEnglandNats on social media

**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**

The 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals___________________________________

Wilkerson’s Polar Air Ford Mustang halted in first round

NORWALK, Ohio (June 23, 2019) – Tim Wilkerson brought his Polar Air Compressors Ford Mustang nitro Funny Car came to the starting line with heated intent for the first round of the 13th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park. Wilkerson and his Levi, Ray & Shoup crew were eager to put their Ford in the winner’s circle, but their day was, unfortunately, abbreviated.

Wilkerson, the No. 9 qualifier, pulled up next to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round and set his sights on getting to the finish line first. Wilk launched with a .082-second reaction time that nearly matched that of his opponent, but down-track his run was disrupted as his tires could not agree with the surface.

“It was waddling down through there, doing what it was supposed to do, and then we got to a spot we just couldn’t past. I think what got me in trouble was that both of the hot runs I made in qualifying were in the left lane, which was notoriously better,” said Wilkerson. Johnson smoked the tires soon after but made it to the finish line first for a 4.288, 215.62 mph win over a 4.462, 195.11.

“We’ve had such good races the last few weeks and just got beat. Today, we just didn’t do a good job,” said Wilkerson, who will be back in the 40th anniversary Levi, Ray and Shoup 2019 Ford Mustang at the next event.

“We’re disappointed because we wanted to do good here for the folks from Polar Air and Summit Racing here, but we’ll be back. We’ll try to do a better job for Epping.”

The next event on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour is the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H., July 5-7.

Tim Wilkerson
Polar Air Compressor Ford Mustang
Results
R1: Tommy Johnson Jr. defeated Tim Wilkerson, 4.288-second at 215.62 mph to 4.462, 195.11

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, race 12 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 1022
2. John Force, 869
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 856
4. Jack Beckman, 819
5. Ron Capps (2), 809
6. J.R. Todd (1), 764
7. Bob Tasca III (2), 689
8. Matt Hagan (1), 656
9. Tim Wilkerson, 619
10. Shawn Langdon (1), 580

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

___________________________________

Wilkerson cool as ice in in Polar Air Ford heading into Summit Racing Nationals eliminations

13th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

Photo credit: Auto Imagery

NORWALK, Ohio (June 22, 2019) – The racing surface at Summit Motorsports Park is terrific. The conditions at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals has been sublime. Tim Wilkerson, driver of the Polar Air Ford Mustang nitro Funny Car, is smooth and settled as race day approaches at the 13th annual event held in Norwalk.

Qualifying for the race was pleasing for the driver who is normally in the 40th anniversary Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car. This weekend, he is campaigning an ultra-cool Polar Air Compressors scheme for the family-owned company based in Ohio, and president Matt Cain and family are on the property in Norwalk cheering on their driver.

Under the Team Summit umbrella, Wilkerson wheeled his way to a best qualifying time of 3.935-second at 323.04 mph to slide into the No. 9 position. On Friday he was very quick, clocking back-to-back sub 4-second passes.

“We were No. 8 heading into that last session, but we lost one spot in the last qualifier,” said Wilkerson. “We tried really hard there, and the thing just barely hiccupped and put a hole out, so I had to shut it off.”

The dropped cylinder didn’t faze the 20-time NHRA Funny Car winner. He knows that the day will dawn new, and that his car has a solid foundation on which to build.

“I’m in a pretty good place,” he said. “We’re leaning on the aggressive side, trying to make the thing run a little better, and it responded a little there. I just think it needs a little more love. The track is way good, and I’m pretty optimistic tomorrow. Our Polar Air Mustang left the starting line good four times, and if it wouldn’t have put a hole out that run it would have been really fast, so we have to knock on wood and hope that we don’t have that problem for tomorrow.

“Anyhow, I’m really excited to have a chance to put this Ford in the winner’s circle tomorrow for the folks at Polar Air, LRS, and Summit Racing. This is always such a neat race, and it would be really special to close the deal on our first win of the season here.”

Final eliminations for the 13th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals are set for Sunday at 11am ET at Summit Motorsports Park.

Tim Wilkerson
Polar Air Compressor Ford Mustang
Results
Q1: 3.980-second at 3 15.42 mph (No. 4)
Q2: 3.935, 323.04 (No. 8)
Q3: 4.008, 320.43 (No. 8)
Q4: 4.858, 159.97 (No. 9)

Round one opponent: Tommy Johnson Jr.

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals qualifying, race 12 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 1022
2. John Force, 829
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 816
4. Ron Capps (2), 789
5. Jack Beckman, 759
6. J.R. Todd (1), 744
7. Matt Hagan (1), 656
8. Tim Wilkerson, 619
9. Bob Tasca III (1), 609
10. Shawn Langdon (1), 560

Race Info
13th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
Summit Motorsports Park
Norwalk, Ohio
June 21-23, 2019

Summit Motorsports Park Track Records
Top Fuel
Doug Kalitta, 3.709 (2017); Clay Millican, 332.67 (2018)
Funny Car
Matt Hagan, 3.865 (2017); Robert Hight, 334.65 (2017)
Pro Stock
Erica Enders, 6.523 (2014); Enders, 212.63 (2014)
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Eddie Krawiec, 6.822 (2016); Hector Arana Jr., 197.36 (2017)

Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, June 23
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Finals / Sunday – 6:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1
Bonus Coverage / Tuesday – 7-8 PM ET / FS1

Join the conversation by using @SummitRacing #NorwalkNats on social media

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

___________________________________

Puzzle solved just three-hundredths too late for Wilkerson in Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 16, 2019) – Bristol Dragway was a mystery in qualifying for nitro Funny Car veteran Tim Wilkerson. In round one of eliminations at the 19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Wilkerson finally solved the puzzle – unfortunately, his clean pass down the racetrack in the Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang just wasn’t enough, and he lost a close race by a mere .03-second with Jack Beckman.

“We just were plagued with dumb things this weekend,” said Wilkerson, who was off the starting line first in the opening round and barely missed the win light, clocking a 4.063-second pass at 310.48 mph to his opponent’s winning 4.031, 318.47.

“It’s just been unbelievable,” he continued. “One run after another, something would break or fall off. It was bad. Today we were able to get down the track, but we just needed to push a little harder than we did. I’m mad that I got beat.”

Qualifying was not fun for Team LRS, as Wilkerson simply could not make his Ford Mustang play nice with the tricky racing surface. He was unable to make a clean pass in any of the four allotted qualifying rounds, and that had him digging heavily into his bank of knowledge heading into Sunday.

Without lane choice, Wilk knew the odds were stacked against him, but he came out and made the best run of the round for the challenging left lane.

“It’s not really a consolation, but at this point, we’re really just looking forward to making our way to Norwalk for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals,” said Wilkerson. “With the permission of our primary sponsor, Dick Levi, and the Levi, Ray and Shoup folks, we’ll be running a special Polar Air Compressors design on our Ford Mustang in Norwalk. It looks really cool, and we’re hopeful that we have everything worked out and have a good showing.”

The next event on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour is the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, June 20-23.

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang
Results
R1: Jack Beckman defeated Tim Wilkerson, 4.031-second at 318.47 mph to 4.063, 310.48

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, race 11 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 990
2. John Force, 786
3. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 783
4. Ron Capps (2), 741
5. Jack Beckman, 720
6. J.R. Todd (1), 711
7. Matt Hagan (1), 624
8. Tim Wilkerson, 587
9. Bob Tasca III (1), 574
10. Shawn Langdon (1), 528

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

___________________________________

19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

photo credit: Auto Imagery

Wilkerson challenged in Bristol qualifying, looking to even the score on Sunday

BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 15, 2019) – The characteristics of the racing surface at Bristol Dragway make it, arguably, one of the toughest tracks to navigate on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour. Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray and Shoup nitro Funny Car team felt as though qualifying for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals dealt them a blow, but the tenacious group is already back on their feet and ready to battle for the trophy on Sunday.

The final qualifying session, although unproductive in terms of moving up the ladder, brought a morale boost to the team. A bolt fell out of the rocker stand and halted proper movement of oil through the engine at the end of Wilkerson’s burnout. When he stepped on the gas to launch into the run, the car pulled to the right.

“I was steering it back and thought, well, it’s coming back,” said Wilkerson. “But there was no way it went right like that unless it had a hole out. It wasn’t going to go very fast with a hole out, so I shut it off – and it’s a good thing I did.”

The damaged parts the team found when they came back to the pit area indicate that they could have had a mighty problem on their hands if Wilk had pushed through in an attempt to make a full pass. An engine explosion and damage to the Funny Car body were imminent.

“That was a good decision, and it saved us,” said Wilkerson, who is locked into the No. 13 qualifying position and will race Jack Beckman in the first round of eliminations.

Every racetrack on the tour has its own personality, and in Bristol, a passthrough for fans to travel back and forth beneath the racetrack to either side of the property has created a set of bumps. Drivers and crew chiefs work diligently to successfully navigate the unique surface.

With a cylinder out on his first qualifying pass, Wilkerson lifted rather than destroy any of the equipment beneath the body of his LRS Ford Mustang. In the second and third qualifying sessions, he got to the trickiest part of the racetrack, dropped a hole, and had to get out of the throttle.

“We didn’t make a good run in qualifying, but the odds are in our favor – we should be able to go out there tomorrow and make a good run,” said two-time Bristol runner-up Wilkerson. “It is very hard to negotiate the racetrack, especially the left lane, but we’ll do our best, and away we’ll go. It’s extremely challenging, because this car is so good, and we haven’t really had a chance to show it yet this weekend. But that’s what Sunday is for.”

Final eliminations for the 19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals are set for Sunday at noon ET at Bristol Dragway.

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang
Results
Q1: 4.825-second at 161.36 mph (No. 9)
Q2: 4.497, 191.02 (No. 12)
Q3: 4.468, 195.03 (No. 13)
Q4: 5.051, 152.79 (No. 13)

Round one opponent: Jack Beckman

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals qualifying, race 11 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 970
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 763
3. John Force, 726
4. Ron Capps (2), 701
5. J.R. Todd (1), 691
6. Jack Beckman, 680
7. Matt Hagan (1), 624
8. Tim Wilkerson, 587
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 508
10. Bob Tasca III, 494

Race Info
19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Bristol Dragway
Bristol, Tennessee
June 14-16, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, June 16
11:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
12:00 noon – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Saturday – 10:30 PM-12 AM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 2-5 PM ET / FS1

Join the conversation by using #NHRA #ThunderValleyNats on social media

**Full results posted throughout the weekend at DragRaceCentral.com**

___________________________________

Pre-Race Package
19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Bristol, Tennessee
June 14-16, 2019

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car event 11 of 24

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Car No.: FC5
Current points position: No. 8

• Event-specific Notes:
• Tim Wilkerson has reached the final round twice in Bristol. He was runner-up in both 2010 and 2014.
• Bristol is one of just five racetracks on the tour where Wilkerson has yet to claim victory. He is still in the hunt for wins in Bristol, Pomona, Epping, Brainerd, and Richmond.
• Wilkerson hails from Springfield, Ill., and will be racing for the trophy for longtime sponsor Levi, Ray & Shoup. Wilkerson has been primarily sponsored by LRS for 20 years in one of the longest standing partnerships in current-day NHRA drag racing.
• Wilkerson debuted his brand-new Ford Mustang Funny Car body this season at the Virginia Nationals in Richmond, but he will not be running it in Bristol as it was damaged two races ago in Chicago when he came into contact with the guard wall during eliminations.
• Wilkerson has been a devoted Ford campaigner for 10 years and has claimed 10 of his 20 nitro Funny Car victories piloting a Ford Mustang.

Driver Notes:
• Wilkerson was in the final at Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Atlanta this year. He was the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas.
• Team Summit driver Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the category to finish in the top 10 in 2018
• The early portion of Wilkerson’s career included a successful run as a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver. He earned eight division trophies, one national event win, and was the Division 3 Top Alcohol Funny Car champ in both 1994 and 1995 in the Lucas Oil Series before stepping up to the Pro ranks in Gainesville in 1996.

Wilkerson in Bristol
2 final rounds
Runner-up 2014 (Tommy Johnson Jr.)
Runner-up 2010 (John Force)
In 2018: Qualified No. 13, first round

Wilkerson’s Career Stats through 2019 Heartland Nationals in Topeka
(most recent Funny Car event)
503 races
20 wins
24 runner-up finishes
44 final rounds
20 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 3.844 (2017 Phoenix)
Career best speed: 333.74 (2016 Topeka)

Quotes:
“Our LRS Ford Mustang is responding well, and for the most part it’s doing what we ask it to do. I’m real happy about that, and I think we’ll have a good race out there. We’re hoping we can make a really, really good run or two in qualifying to set us up Sunday, and we’ll see what we can do from there. That track can be tricky, but we’ve got a good car, and for the most part we know what to expect with that particular racing surface. It’s a neat place, and they’ve got crazy-good fans out there who just love racing. That makes it a lot of fun.”

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after the NHRA Heartland Nationals, race 10 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 933
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 725
3. John Force, 681
4. Ron Capps (2), 666
5. J.R. Todd (1), 656
6. Jack Beckman, 645
7. Matt Hagan (1), 612
8. Tim Wilkerson, 556
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 468
10. Bob Tasca III, 455

Race Info
19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Bristol Dragway
Bristol, Tennessee
June 14-16, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Friday, June 14
10:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying and time trials begin
4:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
7:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 2

Saturday, June 15
8:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations begin
1:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
4:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, June 16
11:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
12:00 noon – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Friday – 7:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Saturday – 10:30 PM-12 AM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 2-5 PM ET / FS1

Join the conversation by using #NHRA #ThunderValleyNats on social media

**Full results posted throughout the weekend at DragRaceCentral.com**

___________________________________

The 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Wilkerson closing in on first win of season

TOPEKA, Kan. (June 9, 2019) — Final eliminations are complete at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, and Tim Wilkerson and his Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Funny Car team put together a solid set of passes to protect their standing in the Funny Car top 10. Their accomplishments were particularly impressive on raceday at Heartland Motorsports Park as Wilkerson drove his way to the second round in conditions for which no one really had any data.

“Our car was just a little slow leaving,” said Wilkerson. “It would have been a good run, otherwise. I thought it would run 3.93 or so, and that’s about what it did, so you can’t be too upset about it. We lost, but it was another good race.”

The conditions in Topeka on Sunday were remarkably different than they had been all weekend long, with the blazing sun and hot, thick air exchanged for cooler temps and a blanket of cloud cover. After dropping a cylinder in the first round but still clocking a sub-four second run to beat Jack Wyatt, 3.983, 207.35 to 4.368, 235.80, Wilkerson knew he had a good idea of what the racing surface wanted.

In the second round, Wilkerson left the starting line ahead of Jack Beckman, but his opponent closed the gap and went on to win it, 3.940, 325.45 to 3.956, 320.58.

“Yeah, we leaned on it a little harder in the second round, but it didn’t quite respond how I thought it would,” said Wilkerson, who remains No. 8 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car standings. “It was really weird air today, and we lost a good one again, just like we did the week before. We still have a pretty good car, though, and I’m excited about that. The guys are really doing a nice job keeping it consistent, and that makes my job easier. We’re looking forward to Bristol next week. We’re going to win our share of these kind of races.”

The next event on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour will be the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, June 14-16, 2019.

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang
Results:
R1: Tim Wilkerson (3.983-second at 207.35 mph) defeated Jack Wyatt (4.368, 235.80)
R2: Jack Beckman (3.940, 325.45) def. Wilkerson (3.956, 320.58)

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after the NHRA Heartland Nationals, race 10 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (4), 933
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 725
3. John Force, 681
4. Ron Capps (2), 666
5. J.R. Todd (1), 656
6. Jack Beckman, 645
7. Matt Hagan (1), 612
8. Tim Wilkerson, 556
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 468
10. Bob Tasca III, 455

___________________________________

The 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Back in blue, Team LRS looking to honor their old pal with a win

TOPEKA, Kan. (June 8, 2019) – Qualifying for the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals looked a little bit like Tim Wilkerson and his Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Funny Car team had stepped back in time. After their brand-new Mustang sustained rear quarter-panel damage last weekend, they had to bring out their former LRS steed for the race at Heartland Motorsports Park. It quickly became evident that their old horse wasn’t quite ready to retire.

Wilkerson qualified in the No. 2 position and swept in a handful of bonus points to sweeten the deal heading into Sunday eliminations.

“We sure can’t wait to win with that new Funny Car body, but she had to go back and get some work done after we made contact with the wall in Chicago, and so far, this old body has been pretty good to us here,” said Wilkerson, who was sturdy out of the gate as he powered to a 4.037-second pass at 295.92 mph for the No. 3 spot in the opening act.

The second session on a hot Friday in Topeka amounted to a killer 3.931, 318.54 that was second best of all and landed the team in the No. 2 position. Through two more rounds of qualifying, Wilk held strong.

“Back in 2016, we won Phoenix with our old Funny Car body, then came out well with the new one,” recalled Wilkerson. “I think we can do the same thing here. Tomorrow is going to be a different day, but I know what we’re capable of.”

Wilkerson’s first national event win came in Top Alcohol Funny Car at Topeka in 1994, and he has been to the final round there twice in a nitro Funny Car – most recently in 2008. He has yet to seal the deal, but he sees Sunday as a chance to right that particular stat.

“It’s real neat that this is the 15th anniversary of our first national event win, and it would sure be cool to celebrate it with our first Topeka fuel Funny Car win,” said Wilkerson, a 20-time winner on the NHRA Pro tour. “I think it’s going to be a good day tomorrow. It’s been too long since we’ve been able to get to the winner’s circle on Sunday, and we’ve been close. We need to get this bridesmaid dress knocked off and get an I do.”

Final eliminations are set for Sunday at 11am at Heartland Motorsports Park.

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang
Results:
Q1: 4.037-second at 295.92 mph (No. 3, +1 bonus point)
Q2: 3.931, 318.54 (No. 2, +2)
Q3: 4.149, 264.23 (No. 2)
Q4: 4.024, 307.86 (No. 2, +1)

Round one opponent: Jack Wyatt

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after qualifying for the NHRA Heartland Nationals, race 10 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (3), 853
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 685
3. Ron Capps (2), 646
4. John Force, 641
5. J.R. Todd (1), 636
6. Matt Hagan (1), 592
7. Jack Beckman, 585
8. Tim Wilkerson, 536
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 468
10. Bob Tasca III, 435

Race Info
31st annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties
Heartland Motorsports Park, Topeka
June 7-9, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, June 9
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Sportsman eliminations continue
10:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Series pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. –Pro eliminations begin, Sportsman eliminations continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Saturday – 10-11 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Sunday – 12-1 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 5:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1

(Sportsman) Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Television Schedule
Finals / Thursday, June 20 – 8:30-9:30 PM ET / FS2

Join the conversation by using #NHRA #HeartlandNats on social media

**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**

___________________________________

NHRA Topeka Pre-Race Package

Tim Wilkerson Racing, Funny Car event 10 of 24
31st annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka (TK)

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Car No.: FC5
Current points position: No. 8

Event-specific Notes:
• Tim Wilkerson’s first national event win came at Heartland Motorsports Park in 1994 in an alcohol Funny Car
• Wilkerson ran his career-best speed in a nitro Funny Car at this event in 2016 when he went 333.74 mph
• Wilkerson hails from Springfield, Ill., and will be racing for the trophy for longtime sponsor Levi, Ray & Shoup. Wilkerson has been primarily sponsored by LRS for 20 years in one of the longest standing partnerships in current-day NHRA drag racing.
• Wilkerson debuted his brand-new Ford Mustang Funny Car body this season at the Virginia Nationals in Richmond, but he will not be running it in Topeka as it was damaged in Chicago when he came into contact with the guard wall during eliminations.
• Wilkerson has been a devoted Ford campaigner for 10 years and has claimed 10 of his 20 nitro Funny Car victories piloting a Ford Mustang.

Driver Notes:
• Wilkerson was in the final at Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Atlanta this year. He was the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas.
• Team Summit driver Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the category to finish in the top 10 in 2018
• The early portion of Wilkerson’s career included a successful run as a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver. He earned eight division trophies, one national event win, and was the Division 3 Top Alcohol Funny Car champ in both 1994 and 1995 in the Lucas Oil Series before stepping up to the Pro ranks in Gainesville in 1996.

Wilkerson in Topeka
1 win in 3 Topeka final rounds, including sportsman competition
Runner-up 2008 (John Force)
Runner-up 2002 (Tony Pedregon)
Won TAFC (Top Alcohol Funny Car) 1994 (beat Jackie Stidham)
In 2018: Qualified No. 9, first round

Wilkerson’s Career Stats through 2019 Route 66 Nationals in Chicago
(most recent Funny Car event)
502 races
20 wins
24 runner-up finishes
44 final rounds
20 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 3.844 (2017 Phoenix)
Career best speed: 333.74 (2016 Topeka)

Quotes:
“We caused a little bit of damage to our new Ford Mustang body out there in Chicago, so we’re getting that looked at and fixed up, but for now we’re back to one of our older bodies. This will give us a chance to narrow things down and see if our issues have been part of the new equation. We had a really good car in Chicago, and it was aggravating to [damage it]. Anyhow, we’re excited to get to Topeka and get set up and going. We’ve done well there in the past, and we always have a pretty big contingent of support there.”

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after Route 66 NHRA Nationals, race 9 of 18)

1. Robert Hight (3), 818
2. Tommy Johnson Jr. (1), 650
3. Ron Capps (2), 610
4. John Force, 596
5. J.R. Todd (1), 593
6. Matt Hagan (1), 559
7. Jack Beckman, 553
8. Tim Wilkerson, 495
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 435
10. Bob Tasca III, 401

Race Info
31st annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties
Heartland Motorsports Park, Topeka
June 7-9, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Friday, June 7
8:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying and time trials begin
3:15 p.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying session 1
4:45 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
6:45 p.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying session 2
8:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 2

Saturday, June 8
8:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations begin
11:30 a.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying session 3
12:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
2:45 p.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown round 1
3:45 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, June 9
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Sportsman eliminations continue
10:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Series pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. –Pro eliminations begin, Sportsman eliminations continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Saturday – 10-11 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Sunday – 12-1 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 5:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1

(Sportsman) Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Television Schedule

Finals / Thursday, June 20 – 8:30-9:30 PM ET / FS2
 

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**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**